Library Association (LA)

Library Association (LA): The Library Association (U.K) was founded in October 05, 1877 during the first international conference of librarians held at Brussels. The name of the association was changed from “Library Association of the United Kingdom” to Library Association in 1896. It receives a Royal charter in 1898. The L.A. becomes a wholly professional Association in 1962 when new bye laws come into operation. The headquarters of L.A. is located at 7 Ridgmount street, store street, London.

a) Objectives: The L.A. has the following objectives.

i) To unite all persons engaged or interested in library work by holding conferences, seminar etc.

ii) To promote the better administration of libraries.

iii) The promotion of legislation.

iv) The encouragement of research.

v) The better training of librarians.

b) Organization: The association is controlled by a 60 member council elected by the members. The L.A. has a number of departments devoted to various aspects of librarianship and library service. The association is advised by four committees.

i) Executive  coordinating.

ii) General purpose.

iii) Library service and

iv) Professional development and education.

c) Membership: Membership is not confined to any country or to library profession. It is open to individuals and institutions interested or engaged in library work.

d) Source of Finance: Main financial support for programmers comes from the membership subscription and publication of the association. However grants for specific projects are also received from other sources.

e) Functions and Activities

i) Conferences and Seminars: L.A. holds annual conferences regularly. In addition to this, its branches and groups also arrange their own seminars, conferences etc.

ii) Continuing Education: L.A. organizes continuing education programmers. It also organized short courses, workshop and seminar to up date members regarding recent development in the profession.

iii) Library Legislation: L.A. took active initiative in enacting the public library act of 1892 and 1919 and revising the bye-laws of the public libraries and museums act of 1964. It has been active in clarifying issues arriving from legislation. It has kept a watchful eye on censorship and copyright.

iv) Standards in Libraries: It has promoted a code of ethics for the library profession. It has taken interest in evolving standards and guidelines of techniques, procedures, equipments etc and has been working for the betterment of salary, status and service conditions of library personnel. The association also approved and published standards for hospital libraries in 1965.

v) Professional Registry: L.A. maintains the professional register of chartered librarians (professionally qualified members are known as chartered librarians and are of two categories

* Associates who are fully trained and professionally educated librarians and

* Fellow (FLA) who have successfully completed additional work at an advanced level to prove their ability in special areas of librarianship.

Now in U.K. L.A. in the main body which is authorized to conduct the examination in librarianship.

vi) COMLA: In 1971 the L.A. was approached by the commonwealth foundation to assist in setting up a commonwealth Library association (COMLA). COMLA was inaugurated at Lagos, Nigeria in November 1972 with full support from W.A.

            L.A. also plays a role in the establishment of British Library in 1973.

vii) Research Programme: It sponsors numerous projects on its own initiatives and resources.

viii) Awards: The L.A. has a scheme of instituting awards to recognize excellence and outstanding performance in library and information science. Some of such programmes are

* Wheat ley medal for outstanding index.

* Besterman Medal for outstanding bibliography and

* Mecoliven Medal for best reference book.

ix) Publication: Some noteworthy publication of LA are

* Library association record (Monthly)- official journal.

* Library and information science abstract (Bi-Monthly).

* Journal of librarianship (Quarterly).

* Information Science (Quarterly).  

* Current research in library and information science (three issues)

* Wetland’s guide to reference material (An important publication of WA)

* British Humanities index (Quarterly).

* Current Technology index (Monthly)

x) Co-operation: L.A. makes bilateral contacts with the A.L.A., supports the work of IFLA and Co-operate.

The Library Association (LA) and the Institute of Information Scientists (IIS) unite to form the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) on 1 April 2002.